Council for the homeless has helped hundreds of people in our community thanks to the Housing Relief Fund. Click to read our Housing Relief Fund 2016 Report.
Read more about the work of the Housing Relief Fund in this coverage by The Columbian.
Meet Nathan and Marina
Even though they were both working, Nathan and Marina could no longer afford their rent after it increased significantly and they became homeless. Sometimes they stayed a night or two with friends. Most nights they were in their van, which became their home. Nathan was injured as the passenger in a car accident forcing him to leave his job and focus on recovering. “Some nights we had to stay in a motel so Nathan could stretch out and sleep,” shares Marina. “When we were in the van he also stayed up most nights to make sure we were safe while I slept.” Their search for help brought them to the Council for the Homeless. “We could not believe how much respect and compassion they showed us. We were so down but they helped us think through our next steps and find an apartment. The help with moving expenses was like winning the lottery!” Marina is back to work and Nathan stays home to care for their new baby, Rose who was born last summer. Their goals include someday having a home in country.
Meet Amanda and Bryan
After living in the same apartment for six years, Amanda, Bryan, their young son, and their dog became homeless. The apartment management changed hands and discontinued their rental payment plan. Using their income to stay in hotels while they worked and their son attended school was stressful. Bryan’s job is in Gresham and the long commute cost him in time and gas money. “In a hotel you can’t cook. And my car was falling apart. It was stressful and expensive,” shares Bryan. They called Council for the Homeless and were able to access a spot at a family shelter operated by Share. During this time, Bryan and Amanda met with Council for the Homeless staff member, Caroline to search for apartments while maintaining their jobs. Bryan “pounded the pavement” every chance he could to apply for apartments. After the third try at a local complex, the manager said yes. “Caroline was able to help us the same day with the deposit. That way we didn’t lose the chance.” They are relieved and grateful. Their son did not have to change schools and he is doing much better now that they are settled. Amanda shares that one day they hope to own a “small house with a small yard.”
Laura and her daughter lived at Courtyard Village Apartments up until December 2014 when they, along with many other tenants, were forced to move when the complex was sold. Council for the Homeless helped them secure rooms to rent where they could keep their two dogs who were like family. After a few ups and downs since then, they now have an apartment of their own – with the dogs – that is on a bus line, near a library, and close to family. Laura writes in a letter to our staff, “Our new place has two bedrooms, a large kitchen, a dining room, and a pantry. I am so happy to be back near family so we can help each other out. I’m also happy that we met you. I wouldn’t have known what to do without your help. I know everyone at Council for the Homeless works hard to help all of us in need.”
John is a dad, husband, and veteran. After John’s experience of homelessness, he and his family are reunited and now have a new apartment for a new beginning. His daughter is growing and enjoying school. He is in school to learn a new career. “Council for the Homeless treated me with kindness and respect,” shares John. “And now we have our own home. We have independence and privacy. The best part is we are together as a family.” John is pictured here with dog Shayla who is very interested in a squirrel off camera.